The president’s most recent violation of the rule of law — openly calling for China to interfere in our elections, as he stood on the South Lawn of the White House — is so outrageous, it’s clear he considers the presidency a free pass to do whatever he wants, with no accountability.
He does not understand the immense responsibility demanded of all those who hold the office of the president of the United States. He sees only the power — and how it can benefit just one person: Donald Trump.
Our first president, George Washington, famously could not tell a lie. President Trump seemingly cannot tell the truth — about anything. He slanders anyone he sees as a threat. That is why is he is frantically pushing flat-out lies, debunked conspiracy theories and smears against me and my family, no doubt hoping to undermine my candidacy for the presidency.
It’s the same cynical playbook he returns to again and again. But this time, it won’t work, because the American people know me — and they know him. I will put the integrity of my whole career in public service to this nation up against Trump’s lack of integrity any day of the week.
It all comes down to the abuse of power. That is the defining characteristic of the Trump presidency.
We now know he has abused the foreign policy of the United States in an attempt to extract political favors from multiple countries. He has directly asked three foreign governments to interfere in U.S. elections, including Russia, one of our greatest adversaries, and China, our closest competitor. He has corrupted the agencies of his administration — including the State Department, the National Security Council staff, the Justice Department and the office of the vice president — to do his personal political bidding. We also know that the people around him in the White House recognized just how profoundly wrong it was and worked overtime to cover up Trump’s abuses.
Thankfully, someone had the courage to blow the whistle. In America, not even the president is above the law. That’s a founding principle of our nation and our system of government.
This isn’t just an academic exercise in political theory. A president who puts his self-interest ahead of the public good and the nation’s security poses a threat to the daily lives of every American.
Just days after the House of Representatives opened an impeachment inquiry against him, Trump hosted the president of the National Rifle Association in the Oval Office. Did they discuss the common-sense gun-safety legislation the nation so desperately needs? No — they talked about how the NRA can help reelect Trump.
He’s so deep in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry, he’s literally sacrificing the planet’s future for personal political gain. He pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and froze fuel economy standards the Obama-Biden administration put in place for cars, and he’s preventing California from implementing its own higher standards. He won’t even acknowledge the climate crisis that he is making worse every day.
In his phone call in June with Chinese President Xi Jinping — in addition to seeking his involvement in our election, which he then publicly repeated — Trump reportedly sold out the people of Hong Kong, who for months have been rallying in the streets for the democratic rights they are owed.
America’s word and our standing in the world are in free fall because of the actions and incompetence of this president.
It is easy to be distracted by Trump’s daily outrages — to become obsessed with them or numb to them, or to normalize behavior that Americans would not have tolerated in any of the previous presidents in the nation’s history. Not me. While the House does its job on impeachment, I’m going to stay focused on what matters: remaking education so every child in the country is equipped to succeed in the 21st century; getting weapons of war off the streets and ending the epidemic of gun violence; building on Obamacare so that every American has access to quality, affordable health care; taking on the climate emergency imperiling the planet; and much more. I’m going to fight to ensure that the United States is once again the leader of the free world; a champion of democracy; and the bulwark of a stable, peaceful international order.